World Travel Awards kicks off Arabian Travel Market


More than a thousand of the Middle East’s greatest travel companies are battling it out to be winners of the coveted World Travel Awards. The grandest night of the industry year takes place at The Address Dubai Marina, latest addition to The Address Hotels + Resort’s portfolio in Dubai. Opened in October 2009, The Address Dubai Marina overlooks the world’s largest man-made Marina and has a prime location in one of Dubai’s most popular lifestyle districts. The hotel is a modern business destination with access to the entertainment and other exciting components of Dubai Marina.

Viewed as the world’s most coveted accolade for operators because of the unique international role of World Travel Awards, the event is on Monday, May 3, immediately before Arabian Travel Market.

The awards, described as the “Oscars” of travel and tourism, is pledged to help drive up standards of supreme excellence and innovation in all sectors worldwide.

Mr. Marc Dardenne, chief executive officer of Emaar Hospitality Group and Emaar Hotels & Resorts said: “The World Travel Awards is an international benchmark for excellence in the travel and hospitality sector, and it is our honor to host this Middle East event at The Address Dubai Marina. Apart from the waterfront location, one of the defining features of the hotel is its rich conference and meeting facilities. We are confident that the modern facilities and impeccable service at the hotel will make the World Travel Awards a memorable event for the travel sector.”

Graham E. Cooke, founder and president of World Travel Awards, outlined why it was particularly appropriate the prestigious event should take place at The Address Dubai Marina. He said: “Because of its impressive range of state of the art conference facilities, this hotel is already carving a reputation for major events such as this.

“The Address Dubai Marina is one of the most impressive meetings venues in the region, setting the bar higher than ever before. We are bringing the 2010 World Travel Awards to the hotel because quite simply, it showcases the very best the region has to offer.

“Much has been said and written about the region in the past year and, like virtually every other area of the world, the global economic downturn has presented many challenges.

“But what commentators had not reckoned on was the extraordinary determination, skill, and powerful marketability of the Middle East as an outstanding tourist destination.

“I’m delighted that this resulted in a positive end to 2009 with encouraging developments continuing to buck the trend in 2010.”

Cooke added that the Middle East, as it has consistently shown in the past few years, is raising standards for others to follow.

He went on to say: “The Middle East has demonstrated to the rest of the world how to provide stunning infrastructure, impeccable service, and immense creativity to attract consumers. The eyes of the global industry are watching with interest to see who will be the winners.”

A total of 114 categories are on offer and nominated companies are now campaigning to attract votes from agents and other industry professionals. In addition to overall Middle East awards, there are awards for Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE, Yemen, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Fujairah, Ra al-Khaimah, and Sharjah.

In the running for Middle East’s Leading Airline are Emirates, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Middle East Airlines, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian Airlines, and Saudi Arabian Airlines.

There’s also fierce competition for the title of Middle East’s Leading Beach Resort. In the running are: Al Hamra Fort Hotel and Beach Resort, Ras Al Khaimah; Al Qasr at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai; Beach Rotana Hotel & Towers, Abu Dhabi; Danat Resort Jebel Dhanna, Abu Dhabi; InterContinental Al Bustan Palace Muscat, Oman; Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, Dubai; Jordan Valley Marriott Resort & Spa, Jordan; Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah; Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa; Mina A’Salam at Madinat Jumeirah; One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai; Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort, Oman; Sheraton Coral Beach Hotel & Resort, Lebanon; The Chedi Muscat, Oman; The Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai; The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai.

Contenders for Middle East’s Leading Business Hotel are: Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, Dubai; Amman Marriott Hotel, Jordan; Crowne Plaza Hotel Dubai Festival City; Dusit Thani Dubai; Fairmont Bab Al Bahr; Grand Hyatt Amman, Jordan; Grosvenor House Dubai; InterContinental Abu Dhabi; InterContinental Amman, Jordan; InterContinental Dubai Festival City; Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai; Le Meridien Amman, Jordan; Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai; Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City; Shangri-La Hotel Dubai; The Address, Downtown Dubai; The Fairmont Dubai; The Monarch Dubai; The Palace – The Old Town; and The Ritz-Carlton Doha, Qatar.

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